Excess abdominal fat has been associated with an increased risk for abnormal cholesterol, high triglycerides, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome. This may be true even when BMI is in the normal range.
To measure your waist circumference:
- Stand up, the measurement should be done on a bare abdomen.
- Circle your waist with a measuring tape just above your hip bone, or just below your belly button.
- The tape should be parallel to the floor.
- The tape should be snug but not compressing your skin
- Relax, exhale, and measure your waist
Your waist measure may indicate a higher risk of disease if :
- You are a woman with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches
- You are a man with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches
Heart health can improve with even small changes to the waist measurement. In most cases it is a better health assesment than weight or BMI changes alone. A person can gain weight and still lose inches around their waist if they are working out and improving their strength and muscle mass.
How to lose abdominal fat?
There is no trick or shortcut. By cutting back on what you eat, choosing healthy foods, and increasing your activity, your body will burn fat all over. But you can't make it target the fat on your belly. Abdominal exercises like crunches will strengthen your abdominal muscles, but don't burn fat as well as aerobic exercise like brisk walking, jogging, bike riding, cardio classes, etc. So get moving!